This week we're celebrating and thanking our volunteers at the Trust as part of Volunteers Week.

Trish Turner is a volunteer with the chaplaincy team at the Cumberland Infirmary.

She said:

“This role involves going onto a ward and simply chatting, but mainly listening, to the patients.

“At first, it is quite daunting to approach someone you do not know, who is in a vulnerable situation (poorly and in bed), but you quickly learn the best way to open up the conversation...most people are more than happy to talk about their family/their pets/their garden...there are few visits that don't involve us having a chuckle about something.

“Sometimes, it is just a case of sitting with the patient, being quiet with them, but being there...a gentle presence.

“The pleasure of the visit goes both ways, it is very rewarding to see someone who, on initial contact, seems a bit reticent to talk, blossoming after a few minutes and these patients, very often, are the ones you end up spending the most time with!

“I always end my visit by offering to say a prayer in the chapel for the patient, which is always well received.”

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